Thanet council receives nine formal offers to buy Ramsgate’s Granville Cinema

The Granville Theatre

A total of nine formal offers to buy the Granville Cinema in Ramsgate have been made to Thanet council.

Four offers, including one from Kent Film Foundation, have not made the shortlist.

Five other bids will now go forward for interviews with a panel.

The freehold for the building is owned by Thanet council. The council took formal possession of the venue in May last year after the impact of covid left the Granville Theatre Ltd team – who had been running the site – with no option but to relinquish it. The venue had been shut since the start of the pandemic.

In October 2021 Thanet council invited expressions of interest from eligible community groups to become the new owners the theatre, which was designated as an asset of community value in October 2019. A submission from Kent Film Foundation was rejected as not meeting the relevant criteria.

At a council meeting in March Cabinet Member for Economic Development Cllr Reece Pugh said: “The KFF submission did not provide adequate designs or costings for refurbishment of the building and lacked proof of funding and a realistic business plan.”

The foundation, whose bid was backed with a cash offer, wanted to create a new arts centre with workshop space, cinema, theatre, a bee-friendly roof terrace, the town’s first organic restaurant – and a new name The Sandcastle.

The council then put the site on the open market through Miles & Barr Commercial with all offers reviewed after the June 27 deadline.

An update from Thanet council states: “Miles & Barr Commercial was appointed to market the Granville Theatre for sale, to ensure that the building could be fully refurbished by new owners and given a new lease of life as a venue for community activity.

“A total of 24 property viewings were held, and nine formal offers were received.

“All of the offers received have now been reviewed according to a robust evaluation scheme which looked at the financial offer, the social and economic benefits of each bid, experience of land or property management, and the extent to which the bids supported council priorities for employment generation and community engagement.

“Five bids have been selected to progress to the next stage, which involves an interview with the project team. Following the interviews, we will recommend one of the bids, and begin the process of due diligence and the legal transfer of the building to the new owner. The four bidders that were not shortlisted have been notified that their bid was not successful.

“Once the selection process has been completed, we will communicate the exciting project that will be at the heart of bringing the Granville Theatre back into use as a hub for community events and the performing arts.”

A survey in 2017  identified some £152,000 would be required for internal works and, in addition, another £250,000 would be needed for roof repairs. The building has continued to deteriorate since that survey.


  1. should the TDC not tells us whose bids it is now reviewing and what they are offering given that we know about the rejected Kent Film Foundation bid?

  2. Why should they tell anyone?

    If you’re selling your house do you tell everyone who is interested?

    Place is an eyesore due to the people not using it!

    Get rid and let someone else get it looking nice again in any form.

  3. And Cllr Green said in a previous post. “6 better bids” does that mean there have been 3 new bidders, or he got the facts wrong ??

  4. When the article states ‘financial offer’ does that mean the size of the brown envelope that will be given to the people that sign it off to be sold to the property developer?

    • Brown envelope brigade again!! – councils are highly audited these days, how many dozens of people do you think they are going to need to bribe to make a decision in their favour and stay quiet about it? Talking rubbish !

      • We are talking about TDC here, one of the most badly run and corrupt councils in the UK.

        Not many need a bribe to get things done as history will show you. Look at all the decisions made by TDC in the last couple of decades that make no sense as they were to the detriment of the area and not the choices of a correctly functioning council.

        Sorry if this has touched a nerve, why are you so defensive of the council?

      • But that’s why Homer amongst other reasons got the boot and TDC were subject to indepedent scrutiny…even Culligan scarpered when the s…. hit the fan! TDC have an appalling reputation…..but you’re gonna tell me otherwise!

      • You have more faith in Council Finances than deserved. It usually takes members of the community to flag anomalies for deeper investigation. This is public money not a small business account.

  5. If they are that badly run, why dont all you who talk a good job actually stand up and see if you could actually do better. Rather than running your fingers being keyboard warriors!

    • Many of us have done better in other real world contexts. It is a pointless and facile argument suggesting others should do it if they think they could do better. They probably have and the Council should be grateful for legitimate critique. We still live in a damaged democracy and vox pops still apply. Oh no what have you ever done for your community?

  6. TDC its councillors, MPs and some of it’s officers are short sighted, have certain agendas which are like a stuck record and never change. They do not encourage healthy investors only half baked ones that want a multiple time failed airport. Then look at Westwood with its closed shops, its disjointed building policy which they do not even abide by the affordable percentage rule on each build, when they have an offer of sustainable investment which will at least keep or improve the areas prospects for all stake holders, if its not in margate they don’t care. TDC must now be disbanded and thanet should become the jurisdiction of Canterbury, TDC is one of the worst local authorities in the country for performance and has been for some years, this is fact.

    • Have you seen the state of central canterbury lately? Starting to look pretty shabby in places, a surprising number of closed shops and rough sleepers.

  7. Bids & offers, sounds like an ebay type sale.
    Good news that it will have to be a community pub and not bulldozed.

  8. Hopefully the council will be making sure that the bids have been made on the basis of being in position to start and complete any works on the building in a sensible time ( ie, they have the money to do it ) and not end up in the situation where the bidder gets the property and then starts a process of crowd funding / grant seeking to actually do anything . Which risks ending up with the building sitting their deteriorating further. Further i would hope that the council makes it clear that TDC won’t be throwing any of the council tax payers money at the project .

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